Historical Projects

Substance Abuse

Woman to Woman

This Alcohol Awareness project, cosponsored by Allstate Insurance & AJLI in 1986, produced a brochure listing community alcohol services for women in Bergen County.

CARE for Kids

Members conducted a comprehensive survey by to determine which services were needed to assist substance abuser recovery. Members discovered the lack of affordable childcare prevented women from continuing their substance abuse treatment. In the mid 1990s, at Teaneck’s Holy Name Hospital in connection with MONY Financial Services, members provided childcare, which included appropriate education and counseling so mothers could receive substance abuse treatment. The project was successfully transitioned to the Holy Name department of Volunteer Services and C.A.R.E. (Center for Addiction, Rehabilitation and Education) and won the Applause Award given by the NJ Hospital Association.

Delaney House

The JLBC supported Transitional Apartments for young male recovering alcoholics from 1977. Project was transitioned to Catholic Community Services of Bergen County in 1981.

Bergen County Council on Alcoholism

Funded school alcoholism education program in 1981.


Englewood Art Center

Project started in 1947 to bring art appreciation to area grade schools. Began a circulating art library to rotate quality art reproductions through schools. Sculpture was added in 1960. By 1962 2500 slides of Art in America were added to the collection and turned over to IMPACT in 1970.

Bergen County Museum

World of Discovery Project opened a “please touch” exhibit for children in 1981. This project was established to provide a “hands on” learning experience in a high quality museum environment for all children between 3 and 12.

Bergen Youth Orchestra

We provided initial support along with The New Jersey Symphony, the Englewood Board Of Education and the conductor, Eugene Minor, to launch this orchestra in 1968. The group has a long list of accomplishments including their Lincoln Center debut in 1976. In 2002, the group played Carnegie Hall. Through the years over 2000 young musicians and thousands of audience members have been privileged to share the excitement the various ensembles generate.

Children’s Theatre

Project has had various forms since 1936 and brought quality theatre to grade school children in a real theatre setting. Projects include underwriting entertainment, developing talent, and teaching children how to behave in the theatre. Creative Theatre for Children offered shows at the John Harms Center in Englewood. Members helped organize events and put on plays like Pinocchio, Snow White and Rumplestiltskin starring several of our members. In 1960 the troupe performed for 7200 students in 20 schools. In 1986 members established a scholarship grant fund.


West Side Infant Day Care Center

Members provided low cost daycare so unwed teenage mothers could complete their high school education. Participating teens committed to parenting classes two days each week, were required to share their school report card and attendance, and could not get pregnant again to stay in the program. Members helped with babysitting, parenting classes and also provided furnishings including a refrigerator and stove for the facility at West Presbyterian Church in Englewood. The program was turned over to DYFS in early 1990 and is run by an independent board.

Toy Library for Handicapped

Working with the Special Services School District of Bergen County at the Norman Bleschman School in Paramus in 1985 this project was established to functionally adapt donated toys so handicapped kids could play with them.

Leonard Johnson Day Nursery School

In 1963, members helped fund the school, which is operated by Social Service Federation.


The Home Instruction Program for Preschool Youngsters taught parents to give their preschool children a head start on some basic classroom skills at home. This program was the result of collaboration with the National Council of Jewish Women and the Coalition for 100 Back Women in the mid 1990s. Members provided funding and volunteer hours assisting with the creative, fun activities offered to families participating in the program in Englewood.

Urban Playground

The JLBC, with the Bergen County Community Action Program, funded an unban playground at Hackensack Head Start. The “Sunny Day Playground” is a safe place for children to play near low income housing in Hackensack.

Kids On The Block, Inc.

This project is a national traveling Japanese style large puppet show addressing issues of disability awareness in a lively and entertaining manner. The purpose of the puppet show is to help children understand what it is like to be different and help to create positive attitudinal and behavioral change for present and future generations. Our members organized and performed shows for 3rd and 4th graders throughout the county. Our puppets include Mark Riley (who has cerebral palsy), Renaldo Rodriguez (who is blind) and Ellen Jane Peterson (who has Downs Syndrome).

Audrey Hepburn Children’s House

A division of the Department of Pediatrics in The Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center, The Audrey Hepburn Children’s House is a state-designated Regional Diagnostic Center for Child Abuse and Neglect serving Bergen and surrounding counties. Their mission is to improve the quality of life for children who have been maltreated. They strive to lessen the trauma experienced by abused children through a coordinated interdisciplinary team response, quality evaluations, and treatment in a child-friendly and culturally sensitive environment. The facility provides a unique private environment, which is specifically designed to address all aspects of child maltreatment in a professional yet compassionate manner. This environment includes: medical examination rooms, evaluation and interview rooms with observation capabilities, therapeutic play areas for children, comfortable waiting areas designed for both adults and children, individual and group therapy rooms, conference areas for multidisciplinary consultations, and a designated area for professional education.

Our volunteers were available in the waiting room to provide fun activities and responsible adult companionship for the children.

Baby Basics

Baby Basics, initiated by the West Side Presbyterian Church of Ridgewood in 1994, is run through the American Red Cross (ARC) Family Resource Center. The program provides diapers and formula as well as education to parents.

Baby Basics was offered only in the Ridgewood and Englewood locations of ARC, until 2001 when the JLBC brought the program to Hackensack. We provide a $15,000 annual funding grant for the program, as well as many volunteer hours to staff it.

Kids in the Kitchen
A program aimed at addressing the issues of childhood obesity and poor nutrition.

A workshop for 5th and 6th-grade girls and their parent/guardian with a focus on key issues such as self esteem, bullying, cliques and internet relationships

Community Outreach

Community Homemaker Service of Bergen County

Project was launched in 1956, with the National Council of Jewish Women.

American Red Cross

Our first collaboration was in 1928. Members helped make scrapbooks and pack and deliver gift boxes for WWI military personnel and families. Members also transcribed lessons and stories in Braille for the blind. In the 40s, members aided with war work like helping to furnish wardrooms in the Hospital at Camp Shanks. In 1977 members founded the Family Resource Center with help from the New York Junior League and New York Medical Center to promote the prevention of child abuse and neglect. The league funded and staffed the project offering programs like parenting skills to ensure the best possible growth and development of children in their first three years of life. The Family Resource Center was transitioned to the American Red Cross and is located in Ridgewood, Hackensack, Englewood, with planned expansion to Jersey City. In 2000 members began a complete renovation of the Red Cross Hackensack chapter House.

Volunteer Center of Bergen County

Seeds for this project started in 1940 with a speaker’s bureau. By 1966 we were the “go to” organization to match volunteers with volunteer opportunities and the Volunteer Center was born. Members also sponsored Volunteers in Protective Services (VIPS) offering training to become Big Brothers/Big Sisters or Parent Aids to people in need; which is now part of the Volunteer Bureau. Successfully operating on its own today, its mission is to strengthen the community by connecting people with opportunities to serve, operate model volunteer programs, build capacity for effective volunteering, and participate in strategic partnerships that meet community needs. Supporting over 60 community programs.

Thrift Shop

Through the years members have been involved in a variety of thrift shops and tag sales to benefit the community. In 1954 we joined Everybody’s Thrift Shop and by 1974 opened our own shop, Second Hand Roses, in Englewood. We offered specialty sales such as wedding clothes for men and women, children’s books & toy sales, as well as end of season bag sales. This project was an important fundraiser; financially supported several league programs through the 70s and 80s.


Putting trained volunteers into the community has always been part of the JLBC mission. This group has offered a variety of community training programs including leadership development, Management By Objective, Advocacy, Facilitator Training and Fund Raising. In 1981 members conducted a training needs survey of 400 Bergen County volunteer organizations and launched “Management Training for Volunteer Organizations” to strengthen community organizations throughout the county. For example, through our Grantsmanship course, members helped Planned Parenthood’s Center for Family Life Education rewrite their Children’s Trust Fund grant for a sexual abuse prevention curriculum (K-12 ) and inter-active workshops for teachers throughout Bergen County.

Ridgewood YM/YWCA

In 1983 members raised funds toward the purchase and installation of an elevator for the handicapped. 


Domestic Violence

Silent Witness Program

Participated in the National Silent Witness March on Washington DC to support public awareness of domestic violence and teen dating violence for high school students.

Shelter Our Sisters

Refurbishes transitional apartment and regularly collect comfort items like shampoo, etc for residents.


The Golden Ladder

Located in downtown Englewood, The Golden Ladder is a retail shop showcasing handcrafted goods made by seniors. Elder craftsmen make the goods sold on consignment and senior volunteers man the store. This project was started in 1977 in cooperation with Bergen County Elder Craftsman and now runs completely on its own. Stop in the next time you are in town! PEAL (Phoning the Elderly to Alleviate Loneliness) This project provides telephone reassurance to clients. The project was started in 1982 with Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (part of the Volunteer Center) who took it over complete with 177 clients and 95 volunteers in 1985.

Historic Preservation:

The Hermitage

The JLBC provided significant support to this National Historic Landmark located in Ho-Ho-Kus. Known for its domestic Gothic Revival architecture, it was a Revolutionary War headquarters for General George Washington and the site of Aaron Burr’s marriage to Theodosia Prevost. Members provided financial assistance, helped catalogue museum objects from the Rosecrantz family who own and lived at the site from 1807 to 1970, served as docents and made period costumes. In1979, we completed renovation of the Orientation Center kitchen. The Friends of the Hermitage now run this historic landmark exclusively.

Zabriskie/Steuben House

During the Revolutionary War this home in River Edge served as a fort, military headquarters, intelligence-gathering station, rendezvous, and site of several skirmishes and major cantonments throughout the long war. In the late 70s and early 80s working with the Bergen County Historical Society, members helped with doc entry, artifact cataloging, and the development of a Traveling Trunk show, complete with a 16 page coloring book, to visit area elementary schools. Members planted native flowers and created Jersey Dutch period costumes. In 1978 a Landmarks Inventory of pre-1850 homes published and distributed by members. We also helped Skylands Manor in Ringwood with cataloging.


Homeless & Hunger

“Six Paychecks Away”

In the mid 1990s, working with the Inter-Religious Fellowship, various Bergen agencies, and cable television community volunteers in Woodcliff Lake, members produced a video about homelessness in Bergen County to help train volunteers and staff who work with homeless people.

Transitional Living Support

Through the 1990s members funded an apartment in Hackensack and participated in the walk in food center with Community Action Program (CAP). Members also produced a brochure reference linking sources of food surplus to areas of need. Members also initiated emergency utility funding to families in crisis.

Working the System

In the late 1990s, members sponsored a Bare Bones Shopping Simulation to raise awareness of the difficulty of feeding a family on the food stamp allotment. We also sponsored a Welfare Simulation for members to experience the struggles of low-income families have working with social services, landlords, food stamps, welfare, etc.

Center For Food Action

For years members have organized food drives and provided emergency funding to the center for short term crises.


Patient Support & Advocacy

Health & Human Services

In the late 1920’s members helped open and assist in the maintenance of theOrthopedic Clinic at Englewood Hospital providing both volunteers and financial aid until it was endowed in 1930. Members also helped open and operate the Hospital Patient Library including a patient library cart, which was turned over to Englewood Hospital in 1968. Another project helped establish an Occupational Therapy Unit , which was turned over to Englewood Hospital in 1935. Members purchased equipment and held classes helping the Children’s ward, maternity ward, surgical ward and outpatients through their time in therapy. Members also assisted by driving outpatients to and from therapy appointments. In the mid 80’s, the JLBC brought the hospital to elementary schools manning an experiential van. The Pediatric Orientation Program helped kids facing hospital stays get comfortable with what to expect, so doctors could give them the needed care. Through the years the JLBC financed needed hospital equipment. For our 50th Anniversary we purchased $25,000 of audiometry equipment for Englewood Hospital and purchased a $25,000 Mobile Intensive Care Unit Van for Valley Hospital. In 1955, members assisted theBergen County Health and Tuberculosis Association to sponsor an X-ray bus. That year we also raised funds to help establish the Bergen Community Blood Bank in Paramus. In 1981 members published A Guide to Bergen County for disabled citizens.

Family Counseling

In 1946, we started the Family Counseling Service of Englewood to extend the Social Service Federation’s casework department by providing new separate quarters and services of a psychiatric consultant.

Teen Issues

CA:TS (Child Abuse: Target Stress)

In the mid 80’s, working with the Paramus High School parents, members developed and presented mini courses as part of area high school health curricula. Courses helped teens recognize physical, verbal, mental/emotional and sexual abuse. Materials included what to do, how to report, how to avoid abuse. The courses also offered teens ways to get through the stress that precedes abuse in their lives now and in the future as parents.

TAPP Teenage Abuse Prevention Program

TAPP evolved from CA:TS as the need for a separate sexual abuse seminar became evident. The program focus was to help to avoid date rape, etc. After training with Planned Parenthood’s Center for Family Life Education, we presented 3-day inter-active workshops with teens stressing how to recognition, report, avoid, etc. abusive situations. Role-playing helped teens develop assertiveness skills.

Urban League of Bergen County

In 1984 the JLBC helped distribute 3500 pamphlets on teen pregnancy to Bergen County high schools.


This project was founded by the JLBC in partnership with the Children’s Aid and Adoption Society in 1973 to provide a stable home for teen girls from dysfunctional or abusive families. After conducting a community needs assessment, members raised funds to purchase the group home, located near the center of town in Ridgewood and got the project up and running. The home helps resident girls focus on education, offering discipline, household responsibilities, homemaker skill-building and connection to social services. The home was turned over in 1980 and is still successfully graduating its residents; many have appeared on the honor roll! The name “Woodlea” came from combining RidgeWOOD with the Junior LEAgue.

Recently we returned to Woodlea to refurbish the bedrooms in the house. Our goal was to make the rooms more comfortable for the teens and we were able to provide fresh paint, bedding and lighting. The JLBC membership voted to create a new committee dedicated to working with Woodlea residents and Children’s Aid and Family Services. This committee draws on the experience of our members to provide valuable life skills for the residents. The JLBC acted as positive female role models and coordinated a variety of activites (such as tutoring and interview skills) depending on the ages and needs of the residents in the house during the year.

To learn more about Children’s Aid and Family Services visit their website at www.cafsnj.org.